“Why was it necessary to return to the classification of archives? Probably in order to impose in a dictatorial way the view of the regime of Putin on the interpretation of the events of World War II. Who does not agree with Putin’s view risks heavy fines and jail terms. Sometimes, we can regret that the penal law does not have retroactive effect. If it had had such effect, President Putin would be liable to criminal punishment for what he asserted in 2005 about the contribution of the allies in the common victory in World War II...”
Selective memory of the nostalgic
Ahead of the centenary of the USSR, the nostalgia for the Soviet empire acquires the most weird forms. This way, the Russian city Volgograd on November 19, 2022 was renamed Stalingrad. But not this is strange. The weirdness resides in the fact that the municipal authorities of Volgograd decided that the city will bear the name of Stalingrad only during bank holidays – nine in number. The nostalgia for Stalinism and the victories scored in wars are the cause of the renaming of the city on bank holidays. This kind of nostalgia is caused by the series of defeats, including propaganda ones, in the war waged by the regime of Putin against the brotherly Ukrainian nation. After decades of military parades staged to extol the invincible army under aggressive slogans like “We can repeat!”, it turns out that the Russian army is capable only of terrorizing the civilian population so as to force the senior administration of Ukraine to accept a temporary armistice. Such an armistice is needed in order to lick the wounds, to regroup the forces, to reequip the army so as to subsequently destroy Ukraine.
The nostalgic Communists, primarily the leader of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF), Grenada Zyuganov, does not agree with the palliative decision of the local authorities of temporary Stalingrad. They plead for the definitive institution of the name Stalingrad, which evokes the victories of the red army and the USSR. In this connection, it should be noted that the memory of the nostalgic is yet extremely selective. No one doubts the victories of the Soviets in World War II and also the victories of the allies. But minimum decency and correctness are necessary to fully reflect the events and to dissipate the nostalgic feelings that cause bellicose impulses. The truth is Russia in the war against Germany suffered extremely harsh defeats until it started to use the assistance received from the U.S. The first military assistance from the U.S. reached the USSR in November 1941, right before the Battle of Moscow. Officially, the land-lease was spread to the USSR after June 11, 1942, five months before the unsuccessful offensive of the Nazis against Stalingrad.
Returning to the war caused by the regime of Putin against the brotherly nation and the agitation of the Stalinist nostalgic, these should take into account that the situation is at the moment the opposite to the aforementioned – Ukraine is the one that enjoys the support of the U.S. Respectively, a law similar to that of 1941 was adopted after 81 years, in April 2022, against the aggressor state. The U.S. Congress passed the new land-lease law by an overwhelming majority of votes, by the quasi-unanimous vote of the Democratic and Republican congressmen and was signed by President Joe Biden. This means that the changes in the political configuration in the U.S. should not substantially affect the support for Ukraine. The provisions of the new land-lease law are applicable in the new fiscal year (October 1, 2022 – September 30, 2023). For now, Ukraine receives armament from the U.S. and the NATO member states, at least for resisting the Russian aggression. Respectively, Ukraine’s hopes to defend its sovereignty and independence are based on three key elements: a) citizens’ support for the senior state administration and the national army; b) determination and dedication of the Ukrainian military; c) support from the U.S. and the partners from the Ramstein group.
Extremely important confessions for refreshing memory of the nostalgic...
The nostalgic should also take into account the opinions of Marshal Georgy Zhukov, who is also called the marshal of victory. The latter led the operation to defend Moscow in December 1941 and then, as Stalin’s deputy, worked out the plan to defend Stalingrad, which were events with a major impact on the war. After the death of Stalin, Zhukov told the famous writer Constantin Simonov about his attitude to the U.S. support for the USSR in the war glorified by the nostalgic: „... the depiction of history, even if it is distorted in parts, is more sincere in the case of German generals as they write more truthfully. But the “History of the Great Patriotic War” is fully untrue. Now they say that the allies never helped us... But we cannot ignore the fact that the Americans delivered to us materials without which we would have been unable to have supplies and continue the war. We received 350,000 trucks and what trucks!... We didn’t have explosives and gunpowder. The Americans really helped us, offering us gunpowder and explosives. And they helped us with the supply of steel board. How would have we ensured fast production of tanks without U.S. steel assistance? And now they present the situation as if we had plenty of all these things...?".
The given citation was extracted from archive documents to which high-ranking Soviet officials had access in the period before the dissolution of the USSR. It goes to the informative note that the head of the KGB Vladimir Semichastnyi transmitted in 1963 to the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. So, it does not go to someone’s opinion, but to the opinion of one of the most relevant personalities for speaking about the importance of the U.S. assistance.
Surely, in that war, the determination and moral spirit of the Soviet military, who fought against an aggressor, mattered a lot. But it also mattered a lot the armament, fuel of the necessary quality, technologies, equipment and food products offered by the U.S. Under the land-lease, the U.S. offered the USSR, against the own production: wagons – 1 000%; locomotives – 240%; shells – 142%; aluminum – 125%; copper – 82%; radio-electronic equipment – 80%; explosives – 53%; aviation fuel– 50%; vehicle tires – 50%; warships – 32%; gunpowder – 25%; grapes – 23%; warplanes – 20%; tanks – 16% etc. So, the new law on land-lease for Ukraine, besides the colossal material support, has now also exceptional symbolical value. Any aggressor should learn the lessons of history and should cultivate feelings of gratitude towards those who helped them.
Classification of archives for hiding...
Do Zhukov’s confessions about the U.S. assistance in achieving the victory in the fight against the Nazis won by the Soviet Army harm? Surely no! The given confessions were designed to dissipate the pretentions of exclusivism promoted by the Soviet propaganda after the start of the cold war. The propaganda of exclusivism was resumed by Putin’s propagandists and the nostalgic, including from here, the Republic of Moldova, who declare themselves successors of the winners and became carriers and promoters of the symbols of the war in Ukraine.
In the context of the aforementioned, it is important to note that namely the exclusivist pretentions are those that hide behind the revanchist slogans of the nostalgic, like “We can repeat!”. The combating of exclusivist pretentions necessitates opening the access to archives. Historians and researches in Russia sound the alarm that the Soviet archives dating from World War II were recently reclassified. The curiosity resides in the fact that not only archives of 1941-1945 were reclassified. The reclassification was extended to cover the whole period between 1939 and 1945, which is also when the USSR and Nazi Germany were allies, taking part in the forced division of Europe by common consent. Why was it necessary to return to the classification of archives? Probably in order to impose in a dictatorial way the view of the regime of Putin on the interpretation of the events of World War II. Who does not agree with Putin’s view risks heavy fines and jail terms. Sometimes, we can regret that the penal law does not have retroactive effect. If it had had such effect, President Putin would be liable to criminal punishment for what he asserted in 2005 about the contribution of the allies in the common victory in World War II.